S/O of feminist thread - What is the job description for the "spiritual head" of the family?

Pretty much what the title says - what does it mean to be the spiritual head of the family?

And if the husband doesn’t live up to the requirements, what are the next steps?

Both men and women have the ability to think. Why does the husband have to lead the wife to heaven? She is not a child. In a marriage, both should should lean on and help each other spiritually too and guide their children about and to God. If either husband or wife fails, the other partner needs to bolster him/her up, push him/her and take up the slack for the sake of the children.

Perhaps a theologian could explain to us why God asked Adam to rend an account of what happened first and not Eve. Clearly Adam was charged with “protecting the garden” and in not doing so things didn’t turn out well. Eve ate and nothing happened. Adam ate and all went haywire. Clearly God put something more critical on Adam’s shoulders because it was his transgression that brought the house down. He followed his wife instead of God.

The devil knew tempting Eve with power was effective because her position was one of a support role and not a leading one. It’s the same way women are tempted with power in the form of “abortion rights” and contraception today. The main justification I hear from feminists is “equality means a woman can go sleep around without having to worry about getting pregnant just like men.” Convince any mass group of people they have no power and then promise you will give it to them. Great way to start revolutions and destroy paradise. Same old effective tune on a different measure. :thumbsup:


If, as you suggest, Eve did not have any power, then why would the Devil need to convince her that she has no power?

“You see, the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through the brother. If this were not so, your children would be unclean, whereas in fact they are holy.” 1 Cor 7:14

Paul relates the spouses through sanctification and either spouse can be the sanctifying factor. Catholicism is a patriarchal religion, as the head of all things is Jesus through his Father. So the male will always be expected to be in the role of head; however, as Paul shows **either **spouse can save the other through their faith.

Well said —:thumbsup:

She didn’t have the same responsibility Adam had. That does not mean she lacked power rather. Men have the responsibility of authority and women have the responsibility of influence. Both are equally powerful but serve in different ways. The devil tempted Eve to want more than what was given to her by using her influence to sway Adam. Once the devil had Eve, he had a route directly to the heart of man (Adam) who gave into the feeling of vulnerability and asserted his authority contrary to God’s design.

Convincing her she had no power wasn’t the devils goal. It was convincing her to use what she had to get more. As I said, look at the abortion / contraception thing. Promising of power. Human beings have a nasty history with hubris.

I also think “spiritual head” means that’s where the buck stops. A man has to advocate for God in his family. Of coarse he can’t force his wife to do anything she doesn’t want, but to prevent finger pointing God made it simple. Husband - you are accountable if you fail to teach your family right. Wife - if you’re husband is doing my (God) commandment follow him. This is why we only have 1 commander-in-chief and not 2. It provides order and organization so there is no finger pointing who is responsible for what.

Our pastor in his homilies on this subject goes to the Latin roots of the word “submission” and points out that “sub” means “under” and “missio” means “mission.” So the husband is the mission leader (of leading the family to Heaven) and the wife is committed to the mission. But that doesn’t have to mean there’s no communication between the two or no negotiation of various matters that arise, and it certainly doesn’t give the husband permission to be a tyrant - that would be uncharitable and thus counter to the goal of the mission.

I am curious to this as well. Many converts to the faith lead the family into the faith. Scott Hahn is one who I was always fascinated with the wife following. Patience, kindness and probably some hurt feelings. But as with most families that convert as a family, someone leads.

So women are easily duped, power hungry, weak things? Keep women under the authority of men and there will be no abortion or contraception use? JPII said he was a feminist and I am sure he did not suggest anyone sleeping around.

I don’t mean to give you a hard time but I find it very difficult squaring any of this with the idea that women are equally respected and valued by the Church.

I think I’m with severus on this one, I can’t wrap my head around it. So on the one hand I’m hearing that women are “equal but different” but whenever we start talking about the differences it’s that women are temptresses, weak, less capable, etc. I don’t think this is what Pope John Paul II would have said but it’s my (perhaps wrong) interpretation of what people are saying.

I think you have a very extreme idea of what submission is. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-7

Men are charged to give their lives for their wives. Wives were given no such commandment to give their lives for their husbands. Do you see men up in arms over that? I think we got the shorter end of the stick if you ask me. Why should I have to die for someone who has no interest in following my lead? Christ died for us so that we would have a path towards God, but if we choose to ignore His lead we don’t reap the rewards of His sacrifice. I think following the husband’s lead is a peanuts compared to him having to risk his life for his wife.

Yes, some men have lorded their power over their wives and some wives have lorded their power over the husband. This is life. It doesn’t however mean that we should rewrite or sanitize the parts of the Bible that offend our egos. There is a lot of ego in this male/female thing and I think that’s the problem. The ego does not like to give no matter who is full of it. Ego is a great way to kill a marriage.

Image if we had 2 presidents for example each with the same exact power. How would that work? It wouldn’t. Same thing in a marriage. That’s why we have a president and vice president. The president makes decisions based on what recommendations he receives from staff and the vice president who leads the Senate. It’s an organized team effort, not a chaotic contest of ego which inevitably leads to power struggles. Our political system is so broken today because we have a usurping president and a stubborn Congress. They both want to be in control and look where it landed us.

The fact of the matter is far more women than men voted for the most pro-abortion and anti-Catholic president in the history of the United States. Look at the “war on women.” You don’t think that is a sensationalist media cry to play on the female ego? The whole mantra has been without free access to abortion and contraception women are powerless. And guess what, they bought it hook, line, and sinker. A few guys running for the senate made dumb comments and experienced a mass exodus in voters, particularly women. How do you go from supporting a pro-life / pro-marriage / pro-religious freedom candidate to supporting the exact opposite minutes later? If one stood on principle a few poorly worded comments shouldn’t have made such large differences.

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If you are defining ones value and respect by the power they hold then that is a poor metric. We respect and value the unborn equally yet they have no power at all, not even a voice. Studies have show that women are more influenced by advertising for example (herbalwater.typepad.com/ayalas_herbal_water/2011/04/are_women_more_susceptible_to_food_ads_than_men.html). I have seen other studies that look at things other than food and the results were the same.

Moreover if Eve didn’t have any power why Adam listened to her and why he denied his own responsibility.

Men and women were created differently. It does not mean that one is more powerful, or smarter, or better, or anything along those lines. It means that God created us male and female and endowed us with different gifts. We were both created in His image, and as complimentary partners to each other. He did not create men in His image, or women in His image. Both male and female are created in His image. If we were exactly the same in our gifts to one another, or in our role in the family, there would be no need for us to become one flesh in order to share in God’s creation. As humans we would be able to do this individually if we were fully made in God’s likeness. Instead, we are each given distinct roles and gifts, as well as anatomical differences.

I agree that the man SHOULD be the head of the family, but the woman is the heart of the family. The heart hold much power over the head, just like our emotions often mean more to us than rational thoughts. The heart of the family can influence the head to go in any direction, and if the heart is troubled, the entire family feels it. But just like our emotions may lead us down the wrong path at times and we have to reason our way out of situations, the head of the family must double check the path the family is on and lead it in the most logical direction. The head must protect the heart, and the heart must trust and respect his judgement.

The reason I say SHOULD is because this only works when a couple has traded their will for the will of God. If each is only looking out for their own interest, this model not only will not work but can also become destructive and at times dangerous. It can become a power struggle between the partners instead of a united mission. Each must first fully lay down their lives for the other. The man must embrace is role as leader with humility, not arrogance. He must lead his family as Christ leads the Church. The woman must submit to his authority while retaining her dignity and her ability to influence. This is the perfect model for the family, as modeled by Mary and her spouse Joseph. This model cannot work without unconditional love for each other and a deep and well earned trust.

If both husband and wife – entrust themselves to the real and only head of a marriage-- God – His Grace will lead them. God is the only leader a marriage needs.


I never said Eve didn’t have power. I said she misused the power she had and desired more. Adam on the other hand didn’t want his and the responsibility that came with it. He was like a child that threw his dinner in the garbage because he didn’t like it. Eve, like a child, wanted more desert than was given to her and she got a stomach ate from eating what wasn’t hers.

Well, if a person can entrust themselves fully to God then there is no reason to marry at all and we could all “be as the angels who are neither given in marriage nor marry.” I think this answer is like trying to pray away cancer. Sure, it might work for some but probably not most. Faith and reason go hand in hand and reason shows 2 presidents do not get the job done.

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Neither does it mean 1 president – will get the job done. As I stated before – a marriage in the Lord – is not a secular institution – with a “president/CEO”.

By the way – interesting name you go by. Wasn’t it Sean Conner of the James Bond 007 movie fame – that said something along the lines that it’s ok – for a man to slap a woman – “when she gets out of hand/to put her in her place” – or something along those lines.

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